London's Billy Elliot Gets New Dance Teacher, Plus 23rd Billy

News   London's Billy Elliot Gets New Dance Teacher, Plus 23rd Billy Australian leading lady Genevieve Lemon will join the London company of Billy Elliot to play the role of Billy's dance teacher Mrs. Wilkinson, beginning performances May 31, with 12-year-old Aaron Watson also joining the company as the 23rd young boy to play the title role at the West End's Victoria Palace Theatre.

Lemon has previously played the role of Mrs. Wilkinson in its engagements at both Sydney's Capitol Theatre and Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre, winning the Sydney Theatre Award and Helpmann Award for Best Actress in a Musical as well as the Green Room Award for Female Artist in a Leading Role. For the Sydney Theatre Company she has been seen in numerous productions including Victory, Merrily We Roll Along, Miracle City, The Girl Who Saw Everything, Once In A Lifetime, The Seagull and The Madras House. Other recent credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical at the Regent Theatre, Piaf for the Melbourne Theatre Company and The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Loved in the Former Soviet Union for Company B. On film her credits include "Charlotte’s Web," "Holy Smoke" and "The Piano," and on television she has been seen in "The Flying Doctors" and "Neighbours."

In a press statement, Watson commented, "I live in King’s Lynn which is a small town in Norfolk. I live with my mum Karen, my dad Nick, my brother Shaun and my sister Lisa. I have five pets - a dog called Rusty, two cats called Scampi and Molly and two guinea pigs called Scruff and Rolo. I first started gymnastics when I was five and then when I was seven I started dancing at Footlights Dance Centre, training in ballet and tap and then went on to train in modern, drama and contemporary dance. I am really excited to be playing Billy Elliot and I can’t wait until my first performance. I would like to thank Bourne to Dance and all my dance, singing and acting teachers who have taught me everything I know!"

They join the current cast that includes Dean-Charles Chapman (12 years old from Essex), Oliver Gardner (12 years old from Bath), Rhys Yeomans (12 years old from Oldham, Lancashire), who alternate the title role of Billy, alongside principal cast members Joe Caffrey (Dad), Craig Gallivan (Tony), Ann Emery (Grandma), David Nellist (George), Sean Kingsley (Mr. Braithwaite), Samantha Seager (Dead Mum) and Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy). They are also joined by Connor Kelly (11 years old from Scunthorpe), Jake Pratt (13 years old originally from Scarborough, now living in Middlesex) and from April 26 Joe Massey (10 years old from Cheshire), who will alternate the role of Billy’s best friend Michael, and Emily Smith (10 years old from County Durham), Fleur Houdijk (12 years old from Hartlepool) and Francesca Mango (10 years old from Northumberland) who alternate the role of Debbie.

Billy Elliot – the Musical is also currently running at Broadway's Imperial Theatre and Chicago's Oriental Theatre. Further productions are scheduled to open in Korea in August 2010, Toronto in February 2011 and Japan in 2011. In addition a North American tour is slated to begin in November 2010, and productions are in the works for Germany and Holland.

To book tickets for the London production, contact the box office on 0870 895 5577, or visit www.billyelliotthemusical.com for more details.

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